Title:  Dear Jesse

Release Date:  1997

Nationality and Language: USA, English

Running time: 82 min

MPAA Rating: sug PG-13

Distributor and Production Company:  Cowboy Pictures

Director; Writer: Tim Kirkman



Technical: 16 mm

Relevance to DOASKDOTELL site: homophobia

Review of Dear Jesse; 16 mm, 82 minutes; Cowboy Pictures, dir. Tim Kirkman (Suggested) rating: PG-13; Score: 8.5/10

This film provides a documentation of the attitudes of North Carolinians towards their controversial long-time Senator Jesse Helms, as seen through the autobiographical narrative of journalist Tim Kirkman who returns home to North Carolina after breaking up with a partner in New York City.

Kirkman finds most of his old acquaintances relatively comfortable with his homosexuality, and becoming rather tired of Helms. Because what seems most remarkable about Helms is his propensity to take near-truths and thrown them around recklessly in order to inflict as much insult as possible.

For example, he claims, in response to calls for research funding, that AIDS will go away if homosexuals just stop (well, heterosexuals get it to, evermore so today). And in responding by letter to a constituent mother whose son has just died of AIDS, he claims "your son played Russian Roulette with his sexuality." Sure, Jesse, just like The Deer Hunter. He seems just plain mean. Why doesn't he then blame cigarette smokers for their own lung cancer. Jesse, this isn't the right way to present personal accountability.


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